February 16, 2011

Teenager Murdered His Mother for Confiscating His PlayStation

Reported by Philadelphia media, a teenager called Kendall Anderson has confessed that he murdered his sleeping mother who had confiscated his PlayStation. You may have heard some of this before but this one is the most terrible and brutal one and you can find out the details below.

Kendall Anderson beat his mother to death with a chair leg and then hid the body behind his house. What's intolerable is that the young criminal confessed that he'd tried to kill his mother twice before. The first time he tried to kill her mom by using a hammer and the second time he tried to cremate her in the kitchen oven, all failed. It's unimaginable and unforgivable that he tried the third time, and he of course would regret doing that.

The 16-year-old said in the trial:

If I could, I would not do it again. I really miss my mom . . . she was the only person who cared for me.

Video Games: A Cause of Violence and Aggression

There is a huge hype surrounding the launch of every new game system - Game Cube, XBox, and Sony Playstation 2 being just few of the latest. Affecting children age 4 all the way to 45 year-old adults, these video games have called for concern in our society regarding issues such as addiction, depression, and even aggression related to the playing of video games. A recent study of children in their early teens found that almost a third played video games daily, and that 7% played for at least 30 hours a week. What is more, some of these games being played like Mortal Combat, Marvel Vs. Capcom, and Doom are very interactive in the violence of slaughtering the opponent. The video game industries even put signs like "Real-life violence" and "Violence level - not recommended for children under age of 12" on their box covers, arcade fronts, and even on the game CDs themselves.

In the modern popular game Goldeneye 007 bad guys no longer disappear in a cloud of smoke when killed. Instead they perform an elaborate maneuver when killed. For example, those shot in the neck fall to their knees and then face while clutching at their throats. Other games such as Unreal Tournament and Half-Life are gorier. In these games when characters get shot a large spray of blood covers the walls and floor near the character, and on the occasions when explosives are used, the characters burst into small but recognizable body parts. In spite of the violence, the violent video games are also the more popular games on the market. When video games first came out, indeed they were addictive. However, there seems to be a strong correlation now between the violent nature of games these days and the aggressive tendencies in game players.

On April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold launched an assault on Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, murdering 13 and wounding 23 before turning the guns on themselves. Although nothing is for certain as to why these boys did what they did, we do know that Harris and Klebold both enjoyed playing the bloody, shoot-'em-up video game Doom, a game licensed by the U.S. military to train soldiers to effectively kill. The Simon Wiesenthal Center, which tracks Internet hate groups, found in its archives a copy of Harris' web site with a version of Doom. He had customized it so that there were two shooters, each with extra weapons and unlimited ammunition, and the other people in the game could not fight back. For a class project, Harris and Klebold made a videotape that was similar to their customized version of Doom. In the video, Harris and Klebold were dressed in trench coats, carried guns, and killed school athletes. They acted out their videotaped performance in real life less than a year later.

Everyone deals with stress and frustrations differently. However when action is taken upon the frustration and stress, and the action is taken out in anger and aggression, the results may be very harmful to both the aggressor and the person being aggressed against, mentally, emotionally, and even physically. Aggression is action, i.e. attacking someone or a group with an intent to harm someone. It can be a verbal attack--insults, threats, sarcasm, or attributing nasty motives to them--or a physical punishment or restriction. Direct behavioral signs include being overly critical, fault finding, name-calling, accusing someone of having immoral or despicable traits or motives, nagging, whining, sarcasm, prejudice, and/or flashes of temper. The crime and abuse rate in the United States has soared in the past decade. More and more children suffer from and are being treated for anger management than ever before. Now, one can't help but to wonder if these violent video games are even playing a slight part in the current statistics. I believe they do.

Calvert and Tan compared the effects of playing versus observing violent video games on young adults' arousal levels, hostile feelings, and aggressive thoughts. Results indicated that college students who had played a violent virtual reality game had a higher heart rate, reported more dizziness and nausea, and exhibited more aggressive thoughts in a post-test than those who had played a nonviolent game do. A study by Irwin and Gross sought to identify effects of playing an "aggressive" versus "non-aggressive" video game on second-grade boys identified as impulsive or reflective. Boys who had played the aggressive game, compared to those who had played the non-aggressive game, displayed more verbal and physical aggression to inanimate objects and playmates during a subsequent free play session. Moreover, these differences were not related to the boys' impulsive or reflective traits. Thirdly, Kirsh also investigated the effects of playing a violent versus a nonviolent video game. After playing these games, third- and fourth-graders were asked questions about a hypothetical story. On three of six questions, the children who had played the violent game responded more negatively about the harmful actions of a story character than did the other children. These results suggest that playing violent video games may make children more likely to attribute hostile intentions to others.

In another study by Karen E. Dill, Ph.D. & Craig A. Anderson, Ph.D., violent video games were considered to be more harmful in increasing aggression than violent movies or television shows due to their interactive and engrossing nature. The two studies showed that aggressive young men were especially vulnerable to violent games and that even brief exposure to violent games can temporarily increase aggressive behavior in all types of participants.

The first study was conducted with 227 college students with aggressive behavior records in the past and who completed a measure of trait aggressiveness. They were also reported to have habits of playing video games. It was found that students, who reported playing more violent video games in junior and high school, engaged in more aggressive behavior. In addition, the time spent playing video games in the past were associated with lower academic grades in college, which is a source of frustration for many students, a potential cause for anger and aggression as discussed in the previous paragraph.

In the second study, 210 college students were allowed to play Wolfenstein 3D, an extremely violent game, or Myst, a nonviolent game. After a short time, it was found that the students who played the violent game punished an opponent for a longer period of time compared to the students who played the non violent game. Dr. Anderson concluded by saying, "Violent video games provide a forum for learning and practicing aggressive solutions to conflict situations. It the short run, playing a violent video game appears to affect aggression by priming aggressive thoughts." Despite the fact that this study was for a short term effect, longer term effects are likely to be possible as the player learns and practices new aggression-related scripts that can become more and more accessible for the real-life conflict that may arise.

The U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop once claimed that arcade and home video games are among the top three causes of family. Although there have been studies that have found video game violence to have little negative effects on their players, there are also many studies that have found a positive correlation between negative behavior, such as aggression, and video and computer game violence. Thus, in order to totally assess the effects of game violence on its users, the limiting conditions under which there are effects must be taken into account, which include age, gender, and class/level of education. However, violent games do affect children, as the studies show, especially early teens, and I feel that there needs to be a stricter regulation regarding the availability of these games to young children.

Video Games And Violence: Are Studies Biased?

Does playing violent video games make players aggressive? It is a question that has taxed researchers, sociologists, and regulators ever since the first console was plugged into a TV and the first shots fired in a shoot ‘em up game.

Writing today in the International Journal of Liability and Scientific Enquiry, Patrick Kierkegaard of the University of Essex, England, suggests that there is scant scientific evidence that video games are anything but harmless and do not lead to real world aggression. Moreover, his research shows that previous work is biased towards the opposite conclusion.

Video games have come a long way since the simplistic ping-pong and cascade games of the early 1970s, the later space-age Asteroids and Space Invaders, and the esoteric Pac-man. Today, severed limbs, drive-by shootings, and decapitated bodies captivate a new generation of gamers and gruesome scenes of violence and exploitation are common.

Award-winning video games, such as the Grand Theft Auto series, thrive on murder, theft, and destruction on every imaginable level, explains Kierkegaard, and gamers boost their chances of winning the game by a virtual visit to a prostitute with subsequent violent mugging and recovery of monies exchanged while games such as World of Warcraft and Doom are obviously unrelated to the art of crochet or gentle country walks.

Media stories about gamers obsessed with violent games and many research reports that claim to back up the idea that virtual violence breeds real violence would seem to suggest so.

However, Kierkegaard studied a range of research papers, several of which have concluded since the early 1980s that video games can lead to juvenile delinquency, fighting at school and during free play periods, and violent criminal behavior. Evidence from brain scans carried out while gamers play also seem to support a connection between playing video games and activation of regions of the brain associated with aggression.

However, Kierkegaard explains, there is no obvious link between real-world violence statistics and the advent of video games. Despite several high profile incidents in US academic institutions, "Violent crime, particularly among the young, has decreased dramatically since the early 1990s," says Kierkegaard, "while video games have steadily increased in popularity and use. For example, in 2005, there were 1,360,088 violent crimes reported in the USA compared with 1,423,677 the year before.

"With millions of sales of violent games, the world should be seeing an epidemic of violence," he says, "Instead, violence has declined."

Research is inconclusive, emphasizes Kierkegaard. It is possible that certain types of video game could affect emotions, views, behaviour, and attitudes, however, so can books, which can lead to violent behaviour on those already predisposed to violence. The inherent biases in many of the research studies examined by Kierkegaard point to a need for a more detailed study of video games and their psychological effects.

Credits: MMOsite, http://www.science20.com and http://serendip.brynmawr.edu

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